CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Archive for June 16th, 2009

* Who will lift the veil of secrecy regarding the FBI investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Posted by DXer on June 16, 2009

Lew’s new novel CASE CLOSEDCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

* Who will lift the veil of secrecy …

It seems that the FBI’s stonewalling tactics are working just fine for them. Congress is accomplishing little, despite many strong statements and excellent questions, to lift the veil of secrecy which surrounds the failed FBI anthrax investigation.


The House Judiciary Committee (Congressmen Conyers and Nadler) received answers from the FBI to its September 2008 questions …  seven months later in April 2009. The answers were apparently never made public until I did so on this blog last Friday, after receiving a copy from the Committee staff with help from Congressman Conyer’s office.

Beyond the excessive time the FBI took in answering, the FBI’s answers are so unresponsive as to be insulting and demeaning both to the Congress and to the American people.

I again called Congressman Holt’s office (his staffer Patrick Eddington) to ask the status of the legislation that would create an Anthrax Investigative Commission. Again, not the courtesy of a return call.

I again called Senator Grassley’s office (Brian Downey at the Senate Finance Committee) to ask if Senator Grassley has ever received an answer to the 18 questions he asked the FBI last year. Again, not the courtesy of a return call.

The silence of the media on this story is also surprising.

It is a potentially blockbuster story: The FBI hides the truth in the anthrax investigation and Congress states its discontent but accomplishes little to force the FBI to come clean under oath. And what the FBI is hiding could be of huge consequence to America’s future security.

Which investigative reporter will break this story?

* related post … * the FBI’s answers to questions posed by members of the House Judiciary Committee in September 2008 as to certain aspects of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks are insulting and demeaning to the U.S. Congress and to the American people

This post gives the House Judiciary Committee’s questions and the FBI’s verbatim answers.

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

* are hoax anthrax attacks one consequence of the FBI’s failure to solve the case?

Posted by DXer on June 16, 2009

Lew’s new novel CASE CLOSEDCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

Here is a selection of stories about hoax attacks for just the last month or so. Would these be happening if the FBI had solved the 2001 case?

June 15, 2009

The Charleston Gazette Mon, 15 Jun 2009 20:50 PM PDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An envelope containing white powder was delivered and opened at Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.s office on Monday, but authorities quickly concluded it was not dangerous.

June 13, 2009

WKTV Utica Sat, 13 Jun 2009 10:51 AM PDT
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) – FBI agents created a stir in Schenectady when they swarmed an auction house wearing hazardous materials suits, reportedly to check out a suspicion that there might be anthrax in the trash at the building.

June 12, 2009

WRGB Albany Fri, 12 Jun 2009 10:15 AM PDT
Sources tell CBS6 The FBI has made an arrest near Congress and Broadway in Schenectady. The are suspicions the arrest may be connected to reports of anthrax.

June 4, 2009

Deseret News Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:36 PM PDT
OREM — Initial tests confirm that a white powdery substance found at Utah Valley University is not anthrax or any other…

June 3, 2009

ABC Action News Tampa Bay Wed, 03 Jun 2009 13:15 PM PDT
The federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the six-year prison sentence of a Florida prison inmate who threatened President George W. Bush, ex-Gov. Jeb Bush and federal employees with…

May 29, 2009

The Tampa Tribune Tue, 19 May 2009 06:41 AM PDT
Law enforcement has arrested a second suspect in connection with April’s anthrax hoax.

May 27, 2009

WBAL-TV Baltimore Wed, 27 May 2009 15:07 PM PDT
Maryland State Police are trying to find the person behind the first anthrax scare they’ve had to respond to in nearly a year.

May 19, 2009

Miami News-Record Tue, 19 May 2009 08:28 AM PDT
The Miami Police Department was quarantined Friday evening after a suspected anthrax threat.

May 13, 2009

KXAN 36 Austin Wed, 13 May 2009 10:05 AM PDT
An Overland Park man has pleaded guilty of mailing the Internal Revenue Service a white powder he claimed wasanthrax. The letter was sent to the IRS in Austin and said “YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO ANTHRAX DIE!” on it.

May 2, 2009

KSPR Springfield Sat, 02 May 2009 19:40 PM PDT
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department went into lockdown after finding a white powder believed to be anthrax.

April 27, 2009

The Tampa Tribune Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:42 AM PDT
A suspicious white powder found in an envelope at the Hillsborough County Courthouse this afternoon is notanthrax, Tampa Fire Rescue officials said.

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, * recent anthrax news | Tagged: , , , | 92 Comments »

* Ike Solem & Ed Lake argue about 6 questions the FBI either has or has not answered

Posted by DXer on June 16, 2009

Lew’s new novel CASE CLOSEDCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

IKE SOLEM comments …

Six Anthrax Science Questions the FBI Has Yet to Answer

  1. What were the four mutations the FBI says it used to link the anthrax in the envelopes to Bruce Ivins at USAMRIID?
  2. What are the odds of a false positive—that is, the odds that the spore populations in Ivins’s flask RMR-1029 and in the envelopes weren’t related but shared the same four mutations by chance?
  3. Eight samples had anthrax with all four mutations; one of those came from a lab other than USAMRIID. On what basis was this lab ruled out as the origin of the letters?
  4. How did the FBI rule out the possibility that others at USAMRIID with access to Ivins’s lab prepared the envelopes?
  5. How exactly did Ivins, if he was the perpetrator, produce an easily dispersible powder from his anthrax culture?
  6. What led the FBI to suspect Steven Hatfill in the earlier years of the investigation?

ED LAKE responds …

Almost all of the answers to your questions have been known for a long time.

  1. There were “well over a dozen” mutations in the attack anthrax.  Experts selected the four that were most stable and which would be most easy to detect in other samples.  Those four were used to go through the 1,070+ samples to find samples that included those mutations.  Ed: the FBI needs to identify the 4 mutations.
  2. Since mutations are basically random and occur very rarely (about once in a billion generations), the odds of the same four mutations showing up in a sample by pure chance is virtually non-existent.  It would be many trillions to one. Ed: what scientist calculated these odds?
  3. Presumably, they used the other mutations in the attack anthrax to determine the exact source.  It’s like using race to reduce the number of possible fathers in a paternity suit, and when you’ve reduced the number down that way, you then use other DNA factors to find the exact father.  If they didn’t do it that way, it was done with standard police procedures. Ed: not “presumably” … the FBI needs to say what it actually did.
  4. The same way that you reduce the number of suspects in any murder case: You check alibis, motivation, capabilities, etc.  Ed: this answer doesn’t cut it. The FBI needs to say how they ruled out others.
  5. He routinely made purified spores.  So, that wasn’t a problem.  The only thing he did that is not normally done is to dry the spores.  And there are many ways to do that.  The spores will dry all by themselves if you don’t take precautions to prevent it. Ed: this is your opinion. The FBI needs to say what they think and the basis for their conclusions.
  6. Dr. Hatfill was never a “suspect.”  A number of scientists acting as amateur detectives and led by Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg decided that Dr. Hatfill was the most likely person to have sent the anthrax letters.  They campaigned for SEVEN MONTHS to get Dr. Hatfill publicly investigated.  The New York Times joined in on the campaign, and so did a few other media outlets.  The campaign included speeches at universities and at conferences, and persuading people to call their congressmen.  Eventually, after SEVEN MONTHS of campaigning, Dr. Rosenberg was called before some senate staffers who listened to her arguments, and then those staffers virtually demanded that the FBI investigate Dr. Hatfill.  About a week later, Dr. Hatfill’s apartment was publicly searched for the first time – making him a household name. Ed: Dr. Hatfill was named a “person of interest” by Attorney General Ashcroft and hounded by the FBI for years before they paid him $5.8 million to go away. The FBI are big boys who are rarely known to respond to public, media or even Congressional pressure. It isn’t logical to blame the FBI’s actions regarding Dr. Hatfill on Dr. Rosenberg.

Posted in * FBI anthrax statements, * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »